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Nanaimo author presents talk in Ladysmith as part of Heritage Week

Daryl Ashby will speak on Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. at the Eagles Hall with a special guest
Nanaimo author Daryl Ashby will provide at free talk at Ladysmith’s Eagles Hall on Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. as part of Heritage Week. (News Bulletin file photo)

For an annual event that celebrates heritage across the province, the Ladysmith and District Historical Society will present a new talk by a Nanaimo author and investigative journalist.

According to a release, Daryl Ashby, the author of 85 Grams: Art Williams - Drug Czar and Nobody’s Boy: Ralph Harris the Northern Connection, will expose the lives of a handful of men who engineered the covert pipeline that funnelled illicit drugs into region over 50 years.

As the author says, Art Williams managed to avoid conviction until his disappearance in 1977 and Ralph Harris worked beneath the authority’s radar for his lifetime. While Williams’s survival was made possible by using his intelligence, Harris relied on street smarts and brute force.

As a free event, Ashby’s talk on Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. at Ladysmith’s Eagles Hall will include a special guest that offers “first-hand” experience as one of the largest couriers of Central-South American cartel drugs.

To continue the celebrations, Heritage Week will have dozens of events across the province between Feb. 20-26, with the year’s theme encouraging communities to explore the heritage that excites them. According to the organization’s events calendar, there will be a family fun day at the Qualicum Beach Museum and a baby lamb farm tour at Ruckle Heritage Farm on Salt Spring Island, both on Feb. 20.

“Heritage Week brings attention to how heritage is always with us and in all ways strengthens our capacity to bring about greater reconciliation, diversity and equity in our communities,” said Kirstin Clausen, executive director of Heritage B.C., in a release.

More information can be found at

READ MORE: Nanaimo writer recounts criminal life of Ladysmith drug smuggler

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